Aristotle

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Aristotle

Aristotle. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Aristotle.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Aristotle was born in 384 b.c., in Stagira, Greece. He achieved prominence as an eminent philosopher who greatly influenced the basic principles of philosophy and whose ideologies are still practiced today.

Aristotle was a student of the renowned philosopher Plato and tutored Alexander the Great, who became King of Macedonia in 336 b.c.

Aristotle established his own school in the Lyceum, near Athens, in 335 b.c. He often lectured his students in the portico, or walking place, of the Lyceum. The school was subsequently called Peripatetic, after the Greek word peripatos for "walking place."

In 323 b.c. the reign of Alexander ended with his death, and Aristotle sought refuge at Chalcis.

Aristotle formulated numerous beliefs about the reasoning power of humans and the essence of being. He stressed the importance of nature and instructed his pupils to closely study natural phenomena. When teaching science, he believed that all ideas must be supported by explanations based upon facts.

Concerning the realm of politics, Aristotle propounded that humans are inherently political and demonstrate an essential part of their humanity when participating in civic affairs.

Philosophy was a subject of great interest to Aristotle, and he theorized that philosophy was the foundation of the ability to understand the basic axioms that comprise knowledge. In order to study and question completely, Aristotle viewed logic as the basic means of reasoning. To think logically, one had to apply the syllogism, which was a form of thought comprised of two premises that led to a conclusion; Aristotle taught that this form can be applied to all logical reasoning.

"Man is by nature a political animal."
—Aristotle

To understand reality, Aristotle theorized that it must be categorized as substance, quality, quantity, relation, determination in time and space, action, passion or passivity, position, and condition. To know and understand the reality of an object required an explanation of its material cause, which is why it exists or its composition; its formal cause, or its design; its efficient cause, or its creator; and its final cause, or its reason for being.

Aristotle agreed with his mentor, Plato, concerning the field of ethics. The goodness of a being depended upon the extent to which that being achieved its highest potential. For humans, the ultimate good is the continual use and development of their reasoning powers to fullest capacity. To effect fulfillment and contentment, humans must follow a life of contemplation, rather than pleasure.

The fundamental source of Aristotle's theories were his lectures to his students, which were compiled into several volumes. They include Organum, which discusses logic; Physics; Metaphysics; De Anima, concerning the soul; Rhetoric; Politics; Nichomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics, involving principles of conduct; and De Poetica, or poetics.

He also wrote Constitution of Athens, a description of the foundations of the government of Athens. The work was discovered in the late nineteenth century.

Aristotle died in 322 b.c., in Chalcis, Greece.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Stagirite is attentive to the world, not only from the Metaphysical but also from the physical point of view, emphasizing its multiplicity and variety.
Ibn Sina was fully aware of the views of Aristotle on this matter and was, like Philoponos, critical of the Stagirite on this subject.
The greatest metaphysical discovery of Aristotle, the notion of act, ends precisely there: in the concept of activity or perfect act; (16) for this reason, while even the Stagirite recognized that the existence of any essence must be an act, he did not even glimpse the real distinction between being as act and essence, nor that essence in act, while active temporally speaking, is equivalent rather to dynamism or essential potency; essences would be modes of actuality.
Monfasani rightly underscores Ficino's reluctance to enter into the fray while at the same time stressing elements of concord between the "old" Aristotelians and Platonism (as opposed to the Averroist reading of the Stagirite that was eliciting such debate in contemporary circles).
The WELL-KNOWN STUDY by Ingemar During on Aristotle (2) is almost universally considered as "a fundamental work; maybe, along with Jaeger's, it is the most significant complete monograph" (3) about the Stagirite.
The following eight chapters deal with Aristotle and his commentators, ending with two alternative responses to the question, left open by the Stagirite, of whether the 'sense of sensing' is specifically human, or shared by all animals.
He omits a major aspect of Aristotle's faculty psychology, which makes the Stagirite compatible with the Platonic anthropology that Levi ascribes to the humanists and reformers.
If one wants to determine to what extent he shares the views of the Stagirite, it is imperative to check what he has to say about the proofs advanced by the Philosopher.
Thomas Aquinas as faithful to the spirit of the Fathers in their common hostility to the Stagirite whose philosophy is incapable of assimilating recent astronomic, geographic, and ethnographic experience, Campanella trumpets the necessity for a more exact and new philosophy and for radical reform.
It should be noted that in the texts of Plato the term "universal" (katholou) through which the Stagirite sets up his refutation does not ever appear (I owe this observation to Riccardo Chiaradonna).
37) At the same time, despite their brevity and occasional inconsistency, these studies make clear that Heidegger turns to Aristotle mainly in order to distance himself from the Stagirite.